ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

...if only they keep their word

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 00:00

It is quite interesting that we have reached a stage where Government no longer thinks we are in the democratic era but wants to continue with the dictatorship style.

I have never been to the streets of Nigeria or been involved in a protests except for the “Aluta” train while I was in the University, but I decided to join in this particular protests because I want to defend the poor. I heard some of our “Leaders” say that pump price of petrol in Nigeria is the least around the world, even in Africa forgetting that the places they were mentioning have alternatives means of transportation and other safety nets in place.

As most of us have been priviledged to live in some other parts of the world, we know what the governments of those places puts in place for the masses not to suffer. For example, in the UK that some of them wants to compare Nigeria with, the pump price is heavily taxed to discourage people from driving their cars, parking and driving into the Central Area is expensive so that you can join the Tube, rails, trains, buses etc. Not only that, children under the age of 16 and Senior citizens have Freedom passes.

The unemployed citizens of those countries can register at a Job centre and be supported to get a job and also paid an allowance pending the time s/he will get a job. There is constant electricity supplies and water, good roads, the list is endless. How then can you compare all these with what obtains in our own Country? My people will say “you want to compare sleep with death”! A few days ago, my son who is just a teenager was analysing the implications of the new fuel pump on the minimum wage, isn’t that amazing?

If the government can only keep their word that negotiation is still ongoing, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. If they have also looked inwards, cut down their allowances and unnecessary expenses, prosecute those who have looted our treasury, Nigerians would have taken them seriously. The lesson we all need to take from this is that we should be a man of our words, lead by example in making sacrifices first before we ask others to make sacrifices, be a listening leader and show empathy to the people we are leading.

May I also add here, that this is not about electing good leaders in the last election because if you ask me, I am not sure most of the candidates we had in 2011 have any new thing to offer. It looks like we are just recycling leaders for the past few years, because they are all related in one way or another. Let us not turn this to a religious or ethnic issue, lets dump our differences and fight for the common good......which is providing infrastructure, employment and other things that will make the life of the common man on the streets comfortable.

Let’s keep up the fight for democracy......government of the people, for the people, by the people! Am going back there to protest until we get what we are demanding for – N65 per litre of PMS.

Keep safe

In Solidarity,